Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: THE CANTICLE OF LOVE, by EDWARD ROBERT BULWER-LYTTON



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THE WANDERER: 5. IN HOLLAND: THE CANTICLE OF LOVE, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: I once heard an angel, by night, in the sky
Last Line: But there's one will not listen, and that one I love.
Alternate Author Name(s): Meredith, Owen; Lytton, 1st Earl Of; Lytton, Robert
Subject(s): Love - Unrequited; Netherlands; Travel; Holland; Dutch People; Journeys; Trips


I ONCE heard an angel, by night, in the sky,
Singing softly a song to a deep golden lute:
The polestar, the seven little planets, and I,
To the song that he sung listened mute.
For the song that he sung was so strange and so sweet,
And so tender the tones of his lute's golden strings,
That the Seraphs of Heaven sat husht at his feet,
And folded their heads in their wings.

And the song that he sung by those Seraphs up there
Is called..."Love." But the words, I had heard them elsewhere.

For, when I was last in the nethermost Hell,
On a rock 'mid the sulphurous surges, I heard
A pale spirit sing to a wild hollow shell,
And his song was the same, every word.
But so sad was his singing, all Hell to the sound
Moaned, and, wailing, complained like a monster in pain,
While the fiends hovered near o'er the dismal profound,
With their black wings weighed down by the strain.

And the song that was sung by the Lost Ones down there
Is called..."Love." But the spirit that sung was Despair.

When the moon sets to-night, I will go down to ocean,
Bare my brow to the breeze, and my heart to its anguish;
And sing till the Siren with pining emotion
(Unroused in her sea-caves) shall languish.
And the Sylphs of the water shall crouch at my feet,
With their white wistful faces turned upward to hear,
And the soft Salamanders shall float, in the heat
Of the ocean volcanoes, more near.

For the song I have learned, all that listen shall move:
But there's one will not listen, and that one I love.





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